Desmond Ridder Scouting Report: Can He Be Elite?

@GoBearcatsFB on Twitter

Desmond Ridder Scouting Report: Can He Be Elite?

NCAA

Desmond Ridder Scouting Report: Can He Be Elite?

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@GoBearcatsFB on Twitter

Ridder is a Day 1 starter for an NFL team in need of a QB. He doesn’t require elite playmakers to perform which helps his case a lot. He has all the traits of a high end NFL QB be with his unique mix of being both a mobile and pocket QB. He has good arm strength, pocket presences and toughness compared to most QBs but can struggle with the deep ball. Most of his weaknesses are minor fixes that with NFL coaching will be fixed by the end of his rookie season. He’s a likeable QB and with an impressive showing at the pre-draft showcases could hear his name called as the first QB off the board. 

Pros:

Ridder has a very unique skill set but not uncommon at the NFL level. He has good zip on his passes and is one of the more athletic QBs in the draft. In the pocket he’s aware of pressure facing him and is able to keep tall in the pocket and willing to take a hit. Great at diagnosing lanes that are open and will take off, but isn’t a run first QB. Due to his size he isn’t the fastest but makes up for it due to height/weight blend and the power run scheme Cincinnati runs. Ridder’s arm strength is knocked by some but it seems to be the opposite. He knows when to challenge deep windows. Ridder does a great job at looking off the safety before attempting a deep shot where he has good accuracy. He plays tough and that shows both with his pocket presence and his running but also with his leadership. In the pocket, he recognizes where pressure is coming from and moves up or over to avoid it. He tries to limit the amount of time he is forced outside of the pocket and instead looks to play inside the pocket, almost as a pocket passer and mobile QB. When he is forced outside of the pocket he does a great job at keeping the play alive and will still look downfield to find open receivers before taking off, using his scrambling ability as a last resort not a primary read. When scrambling does a nice job finding open lanes and will fight for contact when smart. 

Cons:

Ridder does have some weaknesses and they stand out largely on tape. While I mentioned his accuracy on deep passes was pretty good he can have a tendency of not leading his receiver enough causing likely touchdowns to only result in large chunk plays and more contested catch opportunities then you would like to see. Needs to keep his feet set more when throwing under pressure, and when throwing on the run he tends to lead his receiver too far or throw a wobbly pass. Throws to the right side of the field seemed to be better overall attempts then those to the left in similar plays, just needed to adjust his body better. Always looking downfield which can cause an issue during quick pressure, but also can result in massive plays from blown coverages, does result in him being greedy at times resulting in turnovers.

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